How High Did She Go?

Now that I think about it 30 years later, it was funny, but it wasn’t at the time. My first son had a hard time accepting the fact that he had to share his home with his little sister. When they were both very young my daughter came running into house screaming and crying. I asked her what was wrong, but she couldn’t speak. I interrogated her brother. He said that he took a board and put it across a log and told his sister to stand on one end. He then climbed on top of the dog house and jumped onto the other end of the board and she went flying. I was furious. I yelled at him and asked why he would do such a thing. He said, “But, you wouldn’t believe how high she went!”

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Pinon Nuts

I lived in Utah, a long time ago, in the way outback, working on a construction site. There were a lot of native Navajo Native Americans working as welders. As you were talking to them, they would constantly be cracking and crunching on pinion nuts. Kind of like pistachios, but you had to crack them open with your teeth. Being the curious soul that I am, I asked were they got these nuts. I was told that their wives harvested them. I visited a neighbor/Navajo, while he was there, and asked his wife for directions. She told me how to get there and it sounded real simple. I’m simple, it should work.

I didn’t have a four-wheel drive and set out on roads for which there are no maps. I drove through massive canyons, just following the tire tracks. I must have missed a turn. At one point the road followed an old chopped up river bed and ran into a series of small ledges that got bigger the farther I got. One particular ledge made me aware that I would not get back up the same way I came. I met up with a small river I would have to cross. The tire tracks I’d been following could be seen on the muddy hill on the other side. I would have to get a running start, cross the river, shoot up the hill and make a sharp left turn.

A herd of cows were blocking the way. They weren’t disturbed by the sound of my horn. I got out and chased them away to make a hole, but by the time I started again, they had closed the gap. After a couple times of getting out and moving the cows only to have them play the same dirty trick again, I just drove like a maniac straight at them, and they parted like the Red Sea at the last minute. Scared? You bet. Lost? Of course. Several hours later I found the main highway, got out and kissed it, and headed home.

As I was driving back, I remembered that they sold pinion nuts at the general store. Not wanting to come home and lose face, I stopped and paid about five dollars for a handful of pinions. When I got home I showed them to my wife to show her that if there are pinion nuts that need finding, I’m your man. I also told her what I’d gone through to find them. She figured out where I got the pinions after a trip to the general store and after I broke under questioning.

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To Summer at Eighteen

November 1994

Dear Summer,

Eighteen years ago I stood looking at you—fresh-born—through the big glass window in the hospital nursery, watching the nurses try to count your tiny toes. Minutes old, you were bright-red-screaming-at-the-top-of-your-lungs unbounded life, squirming and kicking in every direction—quite a challenge to those toe-counting nurses. How I wanted to reach through the window, to be closer to you as you celebrated your newfound freedom. From behind the glass, I breathed a promise: I would never stand in the way of your freedom. « Continue reading »

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Loving Summer

I think summer is the by far the best time of the year! Not just because the weather is warm and the days long. I love it because my daughter is home all day long. Now, for some people that may not be exactly a good thing but I really believe it is a matter of perspective. In the grand scheme of things, we have these children for such a short time. I want to enjoy and appreciate every moment. Sometimes that means playing a video game I don’t necessarily want to play. Sometimes it means watching a show I don’t necessarily want to watch. But if watching that show or playing that game gives me a moment where my daughter snuggles up close to me… I’ll take it every time. You see, I know and accept that there will come a day (all too soon) when she will be too old for snuggling and video games with dad. She will be talking on the phone and focused on her social life and that is how it should be I guess. I just don’t want to look back with any regrets… longing for a time when she wanted to be with me but I was too busy. Summer allows me this time more than ever and that is why it is my favorite time of the year!

One safety note that is just as applicable in summer as during the rest of the year.  Our children will face more and greater risks/threats out there than ever before.  It can leave us feeling overwhelmed and helpless.  Luckily technology has provided a way to mitigate much of the risk to our children by helping us directly identify the exact individuals that should not be associated with them to begin with.  Online background check sites (the good and reliable ones at least) can help you learn tons of information such as criminal records or even a quick nationwide sex offender registry check.  There is a wealth of information you can access in a single report and it can be done online, anonymously and it is completely legal.  Prices for the background check itself costs a minimum of $14.95 but can also be a bit higher depending how deep of a search you wish to perform.  I use http://www.CompleteReviews.net to help me find the best possible background checks on the market today. They conduct in-depth testing on all the major background check providers and then recommend the best options.  They will also answer any questions you might have related to background checks.

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Don’t Try To Outsmart Your Dad!

A teenage boy had just passed his driving test and inquired of his father as to when they could discuss his use of the car.

His father said he’d make a deal with his son: ‘You bring your grades up from a C to a B average, study your Bible a little, and get your hair cut. Then we’ll talk about the car.’

The boy thought about that for a moment, decided he’d settle for the offer, and they agreed on it.

After about six weeks his father said, ‘Son, you’ve brought your grades up and I’ve observed that you have

been studying your Bible, but I’m disappointed you haven’t had your hair cut.

The boy said, ‘You know, Dad, I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had longhair, Moses had long hair…and there’s even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair.’

To this his father replied, ‘Did you also notice they walked everywhere they went?’

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Burnt Biscuits

When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite! « Continue reading »

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While Like A Giant, Proud And Happy

Tonight I am up late… remembering.  I love the power of memory as it intertwines with emotion to form a temporary reality.  In quiet solitude, this gift of memory allows me to sit for awhile with my mother who passed away many years ago.  It gives me glimpses into moments I will forever cherish and allows me to relive past experiences that define the meanings of my life.  Tonight an open window in my mind has taken me back to a very special place where I learned a new meaning to the word “love”… « Continue reading »

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Fireworks and Memories

She is sitting on my lap as we gaze into the night sky.  This may be the last year she will be willing to do that.  She’s growing up so fast and pretty soon snuggling with Daddy will be embarrassing rather than comforting.  She lays her head against my chest and I smile.  Above us, cascading explosions of light and color brighten the darkness.  I glance down at her wonder filled face.  She doesn’t notice me looking at her so I take a moment to drink in her innocent beauty.  She is my little girl, my grown up baby.  With every flash in the sky, pictures fill my mind of different times when I have looked at this precious face… « Continue reading »

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Parenting is a Life Sentence

Being a parent is a life sentence, from the day your child is born until you leave this earth, you will never be free again!  You are granted no reprieve when your child leaves home.  You will worry about their future as long as you live, no matter how far away they are, physically or emotionally. « Continue reading »

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What Makes a Great Mother or Father? The Little Things

When I was in my twenties, my gaze was always focused on the big things—finding the “perfect” partner, the “to-die-for” job, the “huge” book deal, or getting into the “best” graduate school. Little things didn’t matter much; they were unnecessary distractions that I treated as rounding errors. I either ignored them or focused on what came before or after. Looking back, I can see that how deeply I was affected by films and operas. I was always waiting for the sweeping climax that would bring resolution, on a grand scale, to my life. I was young and eager to fit together the largest pieces of the puzzle of life, foolishly believing that the remaining bits didn’t matter. « Continue reading »

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